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Lafonia is a peninsula forming the southern part of East Falklandmarker, the largest of the Falkland Islandsmarker.

Geography and geology

Map of the Falkland Islands.


Shaped like the letter "E", it is joined to the northern part of the island by a 4 km narrow isthmus; were this isthmus to be severed, Lafonia would be the third largest of the Falkland Islands. Falkland Soundmarker runs to the west between Lafonia and West Falklandmarker. Choiseul Soundmarker divides Lafonia from the northern part of East Falkland.

Barren Islandmarker, Bleaker Islandmarker, George Islandmarker, Lively Islandmarker, Sea Lion Islandmarker and Speedwell Islandmarker are all off Lafonia.

The geology of north west Lafonia is Permian, and similar to that of parts of Ecca Passmarker in South Africa [72965]. The plain of Lafonia is constituted by arenaceous sediments of the Lafonia Group. Depressions in the sediments formed where they were cut vertically by basalt dikes. The plain of Lafonia is constituted by arenaceous sediments of the Lafonia Group. Depressions in the sediments formed where they were cut vertically by basalt dykes.

In the 21st century, Lafonia has seen gold prospecting [72966] by Falkland Gold and Minerals Ltd.

History and Population



The land is gentle and low-lying, but almost uninhabited, falling into the "camp" category. Most of its settlement occurred in the mid 19th century.

In 1845, Mr Samuel Fisher Lafone, a wealthy cattle and hide merchant on the river Platemarker, obtained from government a grant of the southern portion of the East Falkland, which was a peninsula 600,000 acres (2,400 km²) in extent, and possession of all the wild cattle on the island for a period of six years, for a payment of £10,000 down, and £20,000 in ten years from January 1, 1852. In 1851, Mr Lafone's interest in Lafonia, as the peninsula came to be called, was purchased for £30,000 by the Falkland Islands Company, which had been incorporated by charter in the same year.

It has been used for sheep farming since the early nineteenth century and is run from Darwinmarker (founded 1859) and Goose Greenmarker, both of which are located on the narrow isthmus that separates Lafonia from the rest of East Falkland. North Arm Settlement is the only substantial settlement in Lafonia (not counting offshore islands), along with Walker Creekmarker. Attractions include the Bodie Suspension Bridge, built in 1925 and said to be the southernmost in the world. There is also a shop here. Listed buildings in Lafonia include The Galpon and Stone Corral in Darwin, The Stone Cottage and Goose Green Hall (owned by Falklands Landholdings) in Goose Green and Paragon House. [72967]

The first battles on land during the Falklands War took place on Lafonia (see Battle of Goose Greenmarker), where over a thousand Argentinemarker personnel were stationed and around one-hundred locals were imprisoned in the community hall. The area is now home to an Argentine military cemetery. Parts of Lafonia, especially near Darwin and Goose Green, are still heavily mined.

Other settlements include Port King, Egg Harbour and the abandoned Hope Place.

Wildlife

Charles Darwin surveyed the area's wildlife during his now-famous voyage on HMS Beagle.

Lafonia's wildlife includes the Chiloe Wigeon, Silver Teal and Yellow-billed Pintail. Introduced brown trout are found in at least one stream [72968] flowing into Choiseul Soundmarker. There is also a population of Zebra trout.

References



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